A neighbour of late gospel singer, Osinachi Nwachukwu told a Federal Capital Territory Court in Abuja that the singer, on many occasions, begged her not to report her husband, Peter Nwachukwu’s abuse, as she believed he would change.
Grace Nnaji, a tailor and close friend of the deceased singer, told the court that she met the singer when her husband approached her to make a dress for her.
Nnaji, while giving her testimony led by the prosecution counsel, Aderonke Imana, said that she became close to the deceased as her shop in Aco Estate, Airport Road, Lugbe, and residence were close to the Nwachukwu’s house.
She said the deceased confided in her that her abusive husband was always hitting her at the slightest provocation.
In her words:
“Ekwueme, as I used to call her, came to my shop one day with injuries on her daughter’s head and she told me that the defendant pushed her and the child against the wall.
The daughter had fever at the same time and I was the one that gave Ekwueme money to buy drugs from the pharmacy to give her daughter.
Another time, she came and showed me injuries on her back and told me that Peter kicked her on her back and she slammed into the wall with her chest.
One day she ran to my house at about 5 am and said that the previous night she locked her door and he kicked it open with his leg and proceeded to hit her on her chest. She fell to the floor and remained there crying until she slept off.”
She further said that the defendant was in the habit of locking his wife out whenever she went to church and she would be at the gate knocking for hours.
Nnaji claimed at times it will take the intervention of neighbours before she would be allowed in and that she slept in her house for two days on one of the occasions he refused to allow her into the house.
Nnaji alleged that Mr. Nwachukwu threatened that he was going to destroy Osinachi’s reputation and kill her brother and that was the reason she was afraid to tell anyone about her ordeal.
In addition, the neigbour said when she told Osinachi to report the abuse to the police, her family, church and also a human rights radio, she refused.
“When I told her that I was going to report to the church, she begged me not to, saying that her husband will change.”
She recounted a time she sneaked into the Nwachuku’s house to help Osinachi, who was seriously ill, clean the house to avoid her husband getting angry and complaining about an untidy one.
Peter Nwachukwu is standing trial on a 23-count culpable homicide and domestic abuse charge. He has been accused of being the cause of the late gospel singer’s death.